Doha, Qatar | BAZZUP | Al Jazeera’s opinion piece emphasized the alarming history of the U.S. government’s abuse of migrants’ human rights at a time when the Biden administration is apparently considering holding families who enter the country illegally once more.
Author and educator Sarah Towle stated in an opinion post that was published by Al Jazeera on Thursday that “cages and cells have been a staple of the U.S. immigration system, under one euphemism or another, since the 19th century.”
Towle singled out the notorious T. Don Hutto Detention Facility, also referred to as the “baby jail,” which was first built under the George W. Bush administration to house young refugees. The institution was shut down in 2009 owing to alleged rights violations, but three additional for-profit “baby jails” were later opened by the Obama administration.
Human rights organizations said that these facilities put children to terrible living conditions, including confinement in cells for up to 12 hours each day without access to toys or books, threats of separation and solitary detention for “misbehavior,” and only 20 minutes for meals.
Towle also emphasized the negative impacts of incarceration on children, such as chronic toxic stress that causes lethargy, weight loss, hair loss, and depression. With frequent tantrums and bedwetting on the rise, many kids showed regression in key developmental milestones.
The author also noted that the suffering experienced by these detained children was further exacerbated by verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. She also noted that during the years 2018 and 2019, when Donald Trump served as president, “border cruelty became further entrenched” as a result of his overtly anti-immigrant views.
The source also mentioned that Biden is considering bringing back family detention facilities despite his “moral crusade,” which might be interpreted as an effort to gain political benefit in the next 2024 presidential election.
Family detentions are one example of a historical violation that leaves permanent moral stains. Never should they be repeated, according to Towle.